Armed Forces chief sets December deadline against Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, says task force commander


ARMED Forces Chief Carlito Galvez Jr. wants the problem with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) resolved in Sulu by the end of 2018, a joint task force said on Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu, said this was Galvez’s marching orders, adding that an additional battalion of the Philippine Army’s Scout Rangers from Marawi City arrived in the province on Thursday.

Galvez gave the timeline during the command conference in Zamboanga City, composed of military officers within the Western Mindanao area, said Sobejana.

Galvez gave the “specific” timeline since he would be retiring on December 12, Sobejana said.

“There will be more rational timeline but we want to hasten [the Abu Sayyaf menace]since he (Galvez) gave us a co-terminus on his retirement,” Sobejana told reporters.

With “best efforts,” Sobejana said the JTF Sulu would be utilizing all available war materiel, resources, and ground, air and sea mobility to finish the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Sulu.

Sobejana said there would be “very massive focused military operations” in rescuing the remaining kidnap victims.

As of latest count, Sobejana said there were about 300 ASG members in Sulu. DEMPSEY REYES



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